Definition of externalize in English:


(British externalise)


[with object]
  • 1Give external existence or form to.

    ‘elements of the internal construction were externalized on to the facade’
    • ‘The psychological error then consists in externalizing an exceptional experience - which Bergson calls ‘resistance to the resistances’ - into a moral theory.’
    • ‘For those patients the author provides an integrated therapy in which the internal pain is externalized through narrative, dream work, and imagery.’
    • ‘And the director's objective of externalising the internal proves to be absolutely pivotal.’
    • ‘The 118-item scale assessed mothers' perceptions of internalizing and externalizing problems demonstrated by their children.’
    • ‘Their temptations, and hence their complexity, tend to be allegorically externalized.’
    • ‘The key insight into Lucrece is her externalized sense of self.’
    • ‘This is a man who's tried to manage internal chaos by externalizing it.’
    • ‘I have to take that and externalise it, talking to fund managers and analysts and media in a way I haven't done in the past.’
    • ‘Just as much as you internalise the parent, so you externalise the child.’
    • ‘As such, memory is located also at this tenuous site of liminal existence; this point where internal becomes externalised, and the machine and body pass, converge or divert.’
    • ‘The nation is defined as a way of life that externalizes enemies and asserts that its survival - whether economic, social or political - must expand lest the nation contract and die’
    • ‘If there are eventually technologies that externalize internal states, who has a right to access that information?’
    • ‘For some time, a desire had been growing in me to externalize some of the internal work I had been pursuing with such fervor, and the richness of Wiccan ritual seemed the perfect vehicle for that expression.’
    • ‘But the chaos in Lewis's film's internalized, whereas in Kiarostami's film it's completely externalized.’
    • ‘The student hypothesized that, because males tend to externalize problems and females tend to internalize problems, they might change differently in the course of functional family therapy.’
    1. 1.1 Express (a thought or feeling) in words or actions.
      ‘an urgent need to externalize the experience’
      • ‘His poetry was his attempt to externalise that inner dialogue, but his obscurity of expression, as opposed to his expression of obscurity, provided a most daunting translative challenge.’
      • ‘Directed toward a communally valorized symbol, however, Herbert's private grief is externalized and subsumed by the broader tradition of which it is but a part.’
      • ‘Morante, a favorite Moretti actress, is the film's anchor and she's genuinely moving here in the way that she externalizes her grief.’
      • ‘By writing about her rape, Celie also externalizes her experiences so that they do not destroy her.’
      • ‘Since we are able to externalise our inner world, we are able to reflect upon that world and become self-aware or self-conscious.’
      • ‘Men tend to externalize distress and blame others.’
      • ‘In fact, these kinds of films need melodrama; they need action or events that externalise the emotions driving the story.’
      • ‘Given the precarious balance between a successful trip and an unmitigated tragedy, it seems naive that people externalise risk in the belief that ‘it will never happen to me.’’
      • ‘Furthermore, it did not appear that the gender differences in depression were the result of men being more likely to externalize their anger.’
      • ‘As a community where shame has to be denied and aggressively projected outside of the self they feel strongly inclined to externalize this shame in violence.’
      • ‘Thinking is more internalised, and therefore hidden, in older children and adults, but it is more externalised and nearer to the surface in children who are just beginning to talk.’
      • ‘Women think of suicide more than men as women suffer more from depression but women are more likely to externalise their emotions than men.’
      • ‘That is why I dress-up: to externalise my need for attention; almost like a child, to be doted upon.’
      • ‘In addition, adolescents who internalized their anger made more serious suicide attempts than did those who externalized their anger.’
      • ‘Using wry wit where melodrama would have sufficed, she externalises her character's grave desperation with mettle.’
      • ‘Indonesians are trained to cope with stressful interpersonal situations in an entirely different way to Westerners, who, for the most part, are encouraged to externalize their thoughts, opinions, or frustrations.’
      • ‘Visually the film works hard to externalise much of the emotional tension that is buried deep within the characters in the welcomed absence of purely narration dialogue.’
      • ‘More likely to me is that we externalize our fears into the stories we tell ourselves, and nowhere is that more obvious than in horror movies and books.’
      • ‘In her own research, Cox found that people who tried either to conceal their anger or externalize it by blaming others were at higher risk for anxiety, tension and panic attacks.’
      • ‘Gould and Shatzy share a talent for telling stories, another coping mechanism for externalizing their fears.’
    2. 1.2Psychology Project (a mental image or process) on to a figure outside oneself.
      ‘such neuroses are externalized as interpersonal conflicts’
      • ‘His idea was for me to externalise my anger, he felt that anxiety is really a symptom of something wrong.’
      • ‘In the language of psychology, they externalize blame.’
      • ‘The purpose of this (to us) strange ritual was to externalise one's grief, delegate it onto a kind of exterior apparatus (ie another human being).’
      • ‘This integrated model explains how some couples use the defenses of splitting and projective identification to externalize and transpose internal conflicts into interpersonal conflicts in five common marital dances.’
      • ‘Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted for the measures of internalizing problems, prosocial competence, and externalizing problems.’
      attribute, ascribe, impute, assign
      View synonyms
  • 2Economics
    Fail or choose not to incorporate (costs) as part of a pricing structure, especially social and environmental costs resulting from a product's manufacture and use.

    • ‘It's all aimed at getting the producers to stop externalizing the environmental costs of the products they design and profit from.’
    • ‘That is, the costs of pollution are externalized, since the polluter does not have to include them in its production costs.’
    • ‘It can charge the low prices it does because it externalizes the costs of its business.’
    • ‘These social and ecological costs are externalized and born by others who are excluded from such decisions and from their benefits.’
    • ‘One estimate of the benefits received by US corporations alone from subsidies and externalised costs is $2.4 trillion annually.’